Saturday, July 12, 2014 was an important day for our family. We planned and prayed for it, and eagerly followed the weather channel.
We know the vagaries of Indiana weather. On Memorial Day about a year ago we planned a family picnic in the Ox Bow County Park, but we were rained out and retreated to our house. Included were My Joy and her daughter Jill, and me and my son Conrad. Conrad and Jill were meeting for the first time and happened to be seated on nearby chairs in our parlor, and they soon discovered that at different times they had both attended the same college and had much in common to talk and laugh about. About three months later they were dating and became lovers.
They chose Ox Bow County Park as the site for their wedding. The weather as forecast was questionable for the day, but the bride and groom decided to run the risk and use shelter provided by renting the park’s largest pavilion. The risk paid off. Clouds provided a temperature that was just right, and the rain was infrequent and gentle, unlike the torrential rains in Florida. Chairs and tables accommodated the guests that came from as far away as California, South Carolina. and Nebraska. The wedding was garnished by violin and vocal music by the bride’s family and by poetry, meditation and officiating by the groom’s family.
The pageantry began with My Joy, the bride’s mother, and me, the groom’s father, leading the procession down the aisle. (Remember, the two would not have met without our prior friendship.) We were followed by the groom’s daughter who led the way for the bride. She was greeted at the front of the pavilion by her groom, the groom’s son, and the master of ceremony, Eldon Stoltzfus. Buschert, Stutzman, Stoltzfus, Lehman families and friends mingled before the wedding formalities and during the reception that followed it.
One of the groom’s friends catered an abundance of tasty finger foods. As we mingled many of us discovered links in the past. I was pleased to meet grandchildren of friends and peers from years ago. I was impressed by the skills and gifts gathered under the pavilion: A lawyer who defends children in trouble with the educational system, a scientist who travels the world to teach how chickens should be fed, an assistant professor of music at Goshen College, a professional painter and lay preacher, a horticulturalist, an electronic tooling engineer, retired teachers, and three persons with hospice skills to mention only a few. If for any reason you are interested you may click here to see the 35 pictures in my drop box taken at the Friday evening rehearsal and the Saturday festivities.